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Rhapsody: Child of Blood (Symphony of Ages #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  14,014 ratings  ·  378 reviews
Rhapsody is high fantasy, descended from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings through Eddings's Belgariad and Malloreon series, complete with an elf-like people, cannibalistic giants, fire-born demons, and dragons. Inquiring fantasy readers will wonder whether it can live up to such distinguished predecessors. The answer is yes. Haydon's first fantasy is a palpable hit. The three p ...more
Published November 8th 2001 by Gollancz (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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There are aspects of this book that are worth more than one star. Achmed, one of the book's central protagonists, is reasonably awesome. Grunthor is pretty likeable in a gruff ogre sort of way. But things would be far more tolerable without Rhapsody, the third in the company, the heroine supreme. When you feel that way about the book's/series' namesake, it reflects poorly on the author. The plot was just interesting enough to keep me reading (did it for Achmed), but I just kept getting punished ...more
Jocelyn Zombie
May 12, 2008 Jocelyn Zombie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Romance-novel loving Faire-Goers.
Recommended to Jocelyn by: Amy
Shelves: fantasy
The good: This book is very well plotted - in fact the series is very well plotted. The overall story was gripping. I think I saw that the author is a musician, and used music theory to help structure the book. That's a pretty neat idea. The heroine consistently is the one moving the plot forward, and is clearly the hero, all men are rescued by her and not the other way around. Girl power! (Too bad she's such an idiot - which brings us to...).

The bad: The writing and characterization of the peop
I love sci-fi/fantasy and I was suckered in by many of the good reviews on Amazon. It did sound interesting, three people transported hundreds of years into the future, so I gave it a shot. I still can't believe I wasted two days on this book and the two following it. I curse the fact that I'm one of the sort of people that needs resolution, even if it means wading through three books of complete drivel.

Achmed and Grunthor were the only reasons I didn't use this book to start a bonfire. Those tw
Small Creek
Jan 25, 2009 Small Creek rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one with a pulse
Something else to go on that long list of awful things through which I put myself. Torturous volumes of Angel Sanctuary tops it, I think, but this has to come a close second.

Rhapsody is an awful Mary Sue and every sweet chime of her irresistible voice and sweeping charm was an affront to my very being. Why, then, did I put myself through four episodes before a) I couldn't take anymore and b) the school library ran out of copies? It was all for Achmed, my friends--one of the two likable character
Keiji Miashin
I’m conflicted here.

I like this book.
But it’s a bad book.

The story, the basic premise and idea… They sound interesting.
I can’t tell you whether they actually are because, despite all pages in the book, the basic beginning force of the story isn’t explained. Not surprising really, as that’s most likely being saved for exploration further down the series. The plot contained in this particular book itself, the journey of Rhapsody, Achmed, and Grunthor, THAT part I did find quite enjoyable and would
while i really enjoyed the world set up in this book (enough that i am willing to read the sequel), there were some major problems. i liked the entire first half of the novel where Rhapsody was kidnapped and traveled through the root of the world and ended up in the future. the part that i started having problems with was firstly, Rhapsody, in her travels, is transformed into the most beautiful woman ever. this isn't as annoying as her total refusal (read denial) that this is the case. she think ...more
4.0 to 4.5 stars. A wonderful beginning to a great trilogy. Love the characters, especially Achmed and Grunthor. Great emotional resonance among the players and an excellent plot.
Ariana Deralte
Apr 10, 2012 Ariana Deralte rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with low standards for fantasy, people who like Mary-sues
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The UHQ Nasanta
Second Review
Read: January 2, 2012 - January 13, 2012

2.5 - 3 stars

Second Review in progress

I reread this book for Romance Lovers for the Challenge-Impaired Group Series Read in order to refresh my memory to properly read Book 2.

Having been exposed to much of the story and knowing what to expect, this read went more smoothly for me. I was less impatient. I was able to get a better feeling for the world-building. I appreciated the mythology. I found the magic system as interesting and as flawed a
Seldom do I find an author so astounding that I would deem them a word smith. Yet I must say that Elizabeth Haydon is a word smith of no small skill. Within the first few chapters I was enraptured by the tale unfolding, nearly throwing the book away in despair and defiance after a poignant moment. Yet I couldn't help but read on enthralled at the same time. There's a certain way an author lays out a tapestry on which you can see every detail.

The imagery of the world, the characters and everythi
I've been addicted to the fantasy genre since before I could read chapter books by myself. Rhapsody is the sort of book that still keeps my attention even though I've passed my 40th birthday, enough that I am now on my fourth re-read.
I don't want to spoil the story for you, but the elements that hold my interest, in no particular order, are:
a butt-kicking female protagonist, weird creatures with a nasty, sarcastic sense of humor that would give Hugh Laurie's Dr. House a run for his money, time
All of my original opinions from my status update still stand. I made it to page 50 and officially had to give up. I found myself skimming to try to block out some of the horrible cheesiness, and still I got tired of the taste of bile in the back of my throat from where I kept trying not to vomit from the totally false character interactions & the awful hyperbole.

I stole this from "Jocelyn Zombie's" review, because it was oh, so perfect that I couldn't have said it better myself:
"The Ugly:
John P
Rhapsody is the first in a three-book series and is a fantasy quest saga crafted in the Heroic Age style. The author demonstrates significant creativity in the construction of fictional characters and civilizations in an unfamiliar world with the overarching theme of, you guessed it, good vs. evil.

But there are some twists.

The author does a good job of fleshing out her main characters, especially Achmed and Grunthor, imbuing them with complex motives, unusual powers or gifts, and shady, or at l
Nov 01, 2011 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Christy
Someone spilled a very good story across 650 pages and left several dozen really incredible pieces soaking in puddles of soggy text. I agree with the reviewer who said Rhapsody is "a romance novel heroine, thrown into a fantasy novel." As much as my other complaints, the oft annoying and ever self-righteous heroine lost this book its third star.

I wish I had been able to like this book, because some of the ideas are truly great. Haydon's version of Naming magic and Time-slipping are appealing and
Lisa Kay
The primrose, usually the first flower of spring (from the Latin “prima”), represents enduring love. In the Language of Flowers, it means “I can't live without you.” It tells your significant other, “I am yours forever.”

The world-building in this epic romantic-time-travel-fantasy is superior, the characters wonderful. Some people find Rhapsody, the heroine, to be too much of a “Mary Sue” – if that is even possible for someone with her back ground! I found her delightful and felt her losses. **s
Chris Pacheco
Rhapsody by Haydon, Elizabeth was the CHIZ!
i seen bitch ass bitcheZ talk shit on this book goin on about it being carp
them chumpz iz WRONG
Rhapsody: Child of Blood gets the DADDYS seal of approval
and it simply ROXXX
and ima tell you why

1: Writing - this book my have a few granny porn elements to it but over all the story keeps you enthralled. from all the books ive read this book actually had me laughing out loud. the shit in is is fucking funny, and sometimes invitingly filthy, i loved it. the wh
Feb 25, 2009 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Terri
Shelves: 2009
This is acutally the second or third time I've read Rhapsody, and I'm enjoying it just as much as all the previus times. Elizabeth Haydon just writes such great relationships! If she wrote a book that was nothing but Rhapsody, Grunthor, Achmed and Jo hanging around and taking, I'd probably read it and consider it time well spent.
Rhapsody is more than a bit of a Mary Sue, but it's more than made up for by the banter between the major characters. You know it's a really close group when the teenage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy P
The worst hunk of garbage I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

The character's were unlikable. The concern with purity was so extreme that it became fetishistic, and the main character going from attractive to so beautiful men couldn't control themselves around her is incredibly problematic.

The things this book says about the author are alarming.

I can honestly say I hate this book. It is the standard to which I set all other books that I don't like. My dislike is so powerful that when I
Danae Jacot
Age range: be advised, it contains some foul language and adult themes, including graphic violence and sexual scenes
Rhapsody and Prophecy, the first two books in the Rhapsody Trilogy are exceptionally well-written and extremely detailed with a complex and creative mythology. Haydon is a master of the long game. She expertly crafts deep characters with more than enough layers to keep the reader growing closer to the characters, protagonists and antagonists alike, through several books more than 6
Sherri brought this home for me as yet another musical fantasy. As it turns out, the music has a very, very minor role... and overall I have somewhat conflicting feelings, so let's see if I can sort them out.

The beginning is just... no good. The whole business with Gwydion and Emily more or less turned my stomach, and I was really regretting picking the book up when the Rhapsody section began, and she turned out to have a sense of humor. I kept reading after that, and things got a lot better. Th
I picked this book up in a Wal-Mart in Ramona, CA. I was about halfway through a long block at summer camp, and had already finished the books I'd brought. Given a choice between King/Grisham/etc. and a trashy fantasy, I will choose the trashy fantasy every time. The cover is ridiculous -- I was soon to learn that the cover art is always ridiculous -- but I was wholly surprised by the story. It's fantastic!

The book starts off a little confusingly, with a tale in the past that will not be explain
I very much enjoyed the entire series (although I'm a little bit frustrated that the author wrote a cliffhanger in her last book and seems to have vanished), although I did have to read them more as an ode to the fantasy genre. There are too many elements that are obviously copies, and some of the plot points are entirely too convenient-- a magical sword just happens to be there at the moment they need one? Ashe happens to be, well, everywhere Rhapsody is, purely on happenstance (even when we ge ...more
Alice Bridgwater
This book is good, but not as good as I had come to expect after reading most of the reviews. I expected it to be at almost the same level as Jordan's WheelOfTime or Martin's SongOfIceAndFire (which are my -unreachable- top standard fantasy series). Unfortunately I was highly disappointed by Rhapsody. The story is interesting, the book is enjoyable, but... ...some events are hardly credible or at least unlikely, some others just take a time too short to happen (I'm thinking of Achmed ascent amon ...more
Derek Jordan
This book is quite an interesting tale. I found it to be smoothly transitioned and mostly linear tale.

It has an interesting time travel setting. Certainly a fantasy world that is well explained and created as the story progresses. For a bit it feels like you are lost but all comes together as you meet the main three in the story and begin to follow them into the root system of this giant tree.

I found the mysteries that were created in this book are pretty much answered by the end, but that you
Picture yourself back in time, the year 1139. When women mostly married and raised their children. The town is having the annual Foreharvest dance. Emily is attempting to avoid the marriage lottery. Told this year she must enter she is upset that she must give up all the dreams she has.

Gwydion has been transported back in time and to the other side of the world. He is invited to the Foreharvest dance by the farmer who has agreed to hire him. Still trying to get his barrings he leaves the Forehar
I can't stand the word 'infinitesimal' now because this author used it on every other page. The story started out ok, then it just got worse and worse because it seemed like she was trying to hard in her word usage. You don't have to use every long word in the dictionary that you find in order to write something magnificent! It just got to be too much, I tried reading this book, I couldn't get through them traveling through the earth because IT WOULD NEVER END! They were traveling and doing the ...more
Welwyn Katz
What I learned from this book is that too much of a good thing is not always too much of a good thing. If there is imagination enough to keep multitudes of strange adventures happening, even I, with a science background, could make myself forget that someone could never get through the center of the world without being crushed by gravity or boiled by the molten furnace at the center or suffocated in the miles and miles of airlessness in deepest underground. Haydon has just that much imagination ...more
I read the first fourty pages but this novel just didn't work for me.
The hero was time warped by some type of deity just before the fall of a previous civilization. So we then spend too much time as this character meets a potential love interest. To add to it, the meeting is flat, prosaic and predictable. Lastly, the mentalities are little too contemporary to fit into the equivalent of a medieval, agrarian culture without a special explanation.

My feeling is that this story would have prompted me
Lost Girls
I have read the works of Tolkien, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind and many others. I am no stranger to an epic fantasy. Rhapsody is the first book in the Symphony of Ages series, the series which will always hold a special place in my heart and on my book shelf, at the top, right beside the Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series. They are my personal favorites, which no one is allowed to touch let alone borrow. I will buy you your own copies before I let my beautiful ha ...more
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Elizabeth Haydon (* 1965 in Michigan) is a fantasy author, whose 1999 debut, Rhapsody: Child of Blood, garnered comparisons with Goodkind, Jordan, and even Tolkien. She has written two fantasy series set within the same universe, The fantasy/romance/whodunit fusion called The Symphony of Ages and the young adult series The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.

An herbalist, harpist, and madrigal singer,
More about Elizabeth Haydon...

Other Books in the Series

Symphony of Ages (8 books)
  • Prophecy: Child of Earth (Symphony of Ages, #2)
  • Destiny: Child of the Sky (Symphony of Ages, #3)
  • Requiem for the Sun (Symphony of Ages, #4)
  • Elegy for a Lost Star (Symphony of Ages, #5)
  • The Assassin King (Symphony of Ages, #6)
  • The Merchant Emperor (Symphony of Ages #7)
  • The Hollow Queen (Symphony of Ages #8)
Prophecy: Child of Earth (Symphony of Ages, #2) Destiny: Child of the Sky (Symphony of Ages, #3) Requiem for the Sun (Symphony of Ages, #4) Elegy for a Lost Star (Symphony of Ages, #5) The Assassin King (Symphony of Ages, #6)

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